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Peter Lemongello
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    (February 11, 1947- )
    Born in North Babylon, New York
    Known for his album ‘Love ‘76’ and the late-night TV ad blitz promoting it
    His last name doubles as a dessert.
    He claimed to have sold a million albums through his ad campaign, but a contemporary story in ‘Time’ pegged sales at 43,000.
    He was unable to convert the fifteen minutes of fame from his barrage of commercials into a high-profile career.
    He eventually settled in Branson as the resort’s resident ‘Italian crooner.’
    He filed for bankruptcy (1979).
    He was arrested on arson charges for setting fire to two houses built by a construction firm he owned.
    He was sentenced to ten years of probation and ordered to pay $110,000 reimbursement to insurance companies (April, 1983).
    He later served 17 months in prison for violating his probation by getting involved in a mortgage fraud scheme.
    He served in the Army in Vietnam.
    His ad campaign resulted in his being the first singer featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.
    He sold out Madison Square Garden and Carnegie Hall.
    He was parodied as ‘Peter Lemon Mood Ring’ by Chevy Chase on SNL.
    He was kidnapped by his cousin, former baseball pitcher Mark Lemongello, forced at gunpoint to withdraw $50,000 from a safe deposit box, and dumped in a wooded area (January 15, 1983).

Credit: C. Fishel

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